Crocodiles are just a call away in this Guj village

Times of India | 1 week ago | 06-08-2022 | 05:05 am

Crocodiles are just a call away in this Guj village

VADODARA: The love for Vishwamitri river often sets limitations for admirers who would not rather dare the snapping jaws lying hidden under the calm surface. But no such inhibitions are witnessed in this tiny hamlet, nestling in the interiors of Karjan - in fact, villagers here have made friendship with the ferocious reptile! A few locals of Kothwada village frequent the riverbanks outside the village and exchange pleasantries with the crocs who have inhabited that part of the river for years now and are now familiar with their human monikers. So, if you visit Kothwada, do not forget to call out for 'Laali', who will love to meet a new visitor on the banks. Just don't forget to carry a bag of treats! "This particular crocodile has become friendly with some of the locals. Whenever they call her, she swims to the riverbank. That's an amazing bond that we share with the crocodiles here," said a local resident. Explaining how crocodiles became affable to the humans in their area, villagers said that for the past few years, a few locals have been disposing waste meat on the riverbank. The crocodiles feast on this meat and that's how they began frequenting this stretch. Seeing this, other locals began keeping meat deliberately in that area for the crocodiles to eat and this just made the bond even stronger. The stretch near Kothwada village has over a dozen crocodiles which have never attacked any human. “Of course, we keep away from the river and respect the man-animal boundaries as crocodiles are fiercely territorial. But none of these reptiles has shown aggression towards the villagers,” a villager said. Animal activist Neha Patel, who witnessed this rare human-crocodile bond, told TOI, “When one of the locals called out a crocodile’s name, it gradually surfaced from the water and swam to the riverbank. I was pleasantly surprised as such bonding is rare. Most people are scared of these reptiles but this unique friendship shows that even wild beings can be affectionate.”

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